Rob Amboule & Manuel Schatz - "Manz Not Hot" (6:30)
Peter Raw - "Brotherhood" (5:52)
HDV - "Digital Delight" (5:44)
Kosh - "The Mess" (5:08)
Review: Sounds Benefit founder Tom Joyce cast his net far and wide when sniffing out cuts to include on the label's latest multi-artist EP. There's plenty of little-known talent on show across the four tracks that make-up the EP, which come from artists based in Frankfurt, Paris and - most surprisingly - Casablanca. We're particularly enjoying the hybrid electro/spacey tech-house bounce of Peter Raw's wonderfully swinging "Brotherhood", though the deep and melodious electro bounce of Kosh's "The Mess" is also really rather good. Elsewhere, Manuel Schatz and Rob Amboule offer up some bold and snappy Motor City techno/acid house fusion, while HDV's "Digital Delight" is raw, analogue, funky and decidedly alien in tone.
Review: Jack's House is back with another wedge of crucial cuts from a spread of big hitters, kicking off with Alex Arnout and the tightly wound roller "Hypersomnia." Tuccillo is in a heads down mood on "Another Day," letting the drums and the bassline do the brunt of the work. Terry Francis favours a heavy, smoky sound palette that has a bassline that will do some serious damage on a decent system - "Jua" is easily the strongest track on the record. Killan Vega closes the record with a smart deep house jam peppered with crafty sound design elements that lift the track beyond the average chord-led workout.
Review: After a two-year hiatus, the "Watergate Affairs" series returns with an EP of tracks from what the legendary Berlin label describes as "talent from outside the crew's immediate circle". Danish duo Baime step up first with the humid late night techno exotica of "Majka" - all Indonesian percussion, snake charmer synths and Teutonic grooves - before Kadosh offers up the melodious tech-house/deep-house fusion of "Better Days". Turn to the flip for a dash of quietly euphoric White Isle tech-house goodness from Ibiza-based Kintar ("Paradisou") and the extra-percussive throb of Kevin Di Serna's "Lucero Del Alma", where evocative electronic lead lines bubble above moody bass and pulsating synthesizer motifs.
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: The Synthetic Gold story continues to unfold in the most curious nooks and crannies of the minimal techno scene, as this third volume welcomes in tracks selected by Anestie Gomez. Khan is in a looped up, insistent cycle loaded with alien synth tones and a focused rhythmic hiccup of a beat, truly aiming for the psych-out end of the night. Eloi Brunelle makes things a touch funkier on "Neneh", deploying choice splashes of dubbed out colour in between the sharp strut of the drums. Andres Garcia then spreads himself across the B-side with the loping funk of "Invisivel", working all manner of freaky sounds around the scuffed sway of the beats.
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (original mix) (5:23)
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (Appleblim remix) (6:29)
Review: As a follow-up to Will Saul's exclusive-packed - and generally well received - DJ Kicks set, !K7 has decided to reissue two of the most celebrated tracks, with fresh new remixes. On the A-side you'll find Jabru and Joel Culpepper's "Church" - a decidedly organic, soulful chunk of deep house/UK garage fusion - with accompanying Zed Bias rub. The UKG veteran gives it a bouncy, bassy two-step makeover, wisely retaining Culpepper's brilliant vocals. Flip for Will Saul and Komon's spacey "Two For One", where dreamy flourishes rub shoulders with throbbing electronics and delicate house beats. The remix is provided by Appleblim, who adds a new layer of percussive toughness - in a bruk-meets-two-step style - whilst retaining the warmth of the original.
Review: Longstanding Detroit deepsmith Kage returns on his brand new label Michigander. The result? Three superlative exercises in synth soul and an on-point version for later hours. "The Arc" prowls with all the string-soaked majesty of an early Rolando cut while the stringless version hits a little harder. "D Drive" jacks with a slappy bass groove while tipping a slight nod to Yazoo with its vibrant riffy ripples while "Transcending" is all about the big dubby synth washes and off-kick bass palpitations. Let's hope there'll be more to gander from Michigander very soon.
Review: Kimochi Sound introduces a new artist for their 30th release. This debut record is all deep beats and breaks and it's full of the fuzzy feels and swollen atmospheres we've come to expect from the imprint. It's a bit of a mini album, moving from Ilian Tape techno influences to a closing number reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
Review: Sensoramic is a new label on a mission of sensory expansion. For the debut release the UK based imprint drafts new producer Karousel to deliver two cuts of machine driven house. S.A.M., the Danish Oscillat/Delaphine favourite appears on the remix fresh from delivering a slew of killer originals and remixes as well as his most recent Mandar collaboration with Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie. On this Reshape, he is at his most sublime best delivering an emotive retake on the original that stretches heady organs and melodies alongside a beat that refuses to let up.
Review: Purism leaps into action once more, this time welcoming a strong cast of lesser known characters that fit right into the adventurous approach to house and techno that the label has forged its reputation on. All these producers make their first appearances here, but you wouldn't know it listening to the quality of the tracks on offer. Rafael Kasma's "Static Rope" is a quintessential grooving house jam with some killer filtered chords, while Munir Nadir brings the twitchy minimalism vibes on "Milagro". Jackie is on a sultry, jazzy deep house tip with "Lune" and Mag0 rounds things off with the cheeky, quirky funk of "Spectrum".
Review: Inaugurating new imprint Doxall is Russian enfant terrible Denis Kaznacheev with his idiosyncratic brand of reductionist minimal funk. The Nervmusic co-head (and one half of Easy Changes) does what he truly does best on his new offering "Jelly Dancing". It's a boompty and shuffling minimal house jam that's perfect tackle for messing with minds at a Sunday morning afterhours. On the flip, the always impressive Bed Vedren from Paris (Reduce/Minibar/Prospector) delivers a more energetic and hi-tech rendition suited to the main room, but nonetheless harnessing that same understated feel of the original. Tip!
Review: Grow returns with the record Isotelus Rex by Denis Kaznacheev, complete with a remix by Daze Maxim. The title track Isotelus Rex, a 14 minute work, true to grow's eccentric nature, a track at once playful and deeply neurally stimulating, sure to shake one's body and intrigue one's mind. Wonderful decaying tones, subtly jazzy, intricate electronic communications interrelate over an irresistible bass and percussive performance, a groove which will make your swing. B1 is Daze Maxim's remix, with a more ethereal approach to Isotelus Rex, it begins through a beautiful synth. Then grows a fast and intricate bass arrangement, providing a confidently vibed way though the cosmic landscape, also another great track for the dance floor, as the same physical swing as in original is felt strong. B2 Proetida, the second original work by Denis Kaznacheev of the release, is of raw, almost rude, attitude, a strong bass descends in steps, a determined momentum, the driving force of an industrious process.